Review, Byron, Leicester

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Leicester's dining scene seems to be on an upward trajectory of late. We have some really cool places now especially with The Smokehouse (yeah I know.. I'm biased) and now Byron both bringing something on trend and exciting to the city.  It says something too that Byron skipped Nottingham and Birmingham to open their first Midlands site in little old Leicester. Well - maybe the rents cheap or they know something we don't - either way, I'm very pleased about it!

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Delice Deli & Cafe, Loughborough

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I have no idea why I've not blogged about Delice Deli in Loughborough before now. Its a firm favourite of mine and I'm a frequent visitor. Well time to put the world to rights - here we go! 

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Pumpkin & Chicken in Oyster Sauce with Chilli & Basil

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Its almost Halloween and this year is going to be scarier than most as I'm off to stay at St Briavels castle with some friends. I suggest you google it in order to feel my pain - it's reportedly the most haunted castle in the UK. EEEEK.. so, for now, lets stay off ghostly talk and focus on something still seasonal but much nicer - pumpkin! 



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Addicted to cookbooks

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My name is Alex and I am addicted to cookbook. 

But lets justify this for a second (as any addict will) - they provide insight, inspiration and oggle factor in equal measures. As an avid home cook and blogger its also clearly my job to have as many cookbooks and magazines as possible... right?  Anyway, here is a little round up on my books - what I love and what I do.. 

Labels 

I actually stole this idea off my good friend Hannah - her house is one of my favourites for cookbook perving. She takes things a little further than me by colour coding for ingredients but I'm happy just to tab anything I've cooked. I also add a score out of 10 and any notes about improvements/ changes... When you head back to that book at a later date, its super helpful! 


Recipe collecting

The best recipe books are the ones you make yourself - I have a recipe journal and a scrapbook and both have been with me for most of my adult life. The scrapbook I started when I was back at uni and it's been with me ever since. There are so many things stuck in there - from supermarket recipe cards to things cut out of magazines. The pages are all full now but I still use it as a valuable resource.

Display 

I always have a cookbook on the book stand on my counter-top. I like to change it around to keep myself inspired and often put something up before I'm going to cook it. Geek alert. At the moment I've got my brand spanking new copy of Cracking Yolks & Pig Tales - Glynn Purnell's rather fabulous book.  If you don't have a copy I really recommend it, there are a whole variety of recipes and his stories elevate this from the usual chef cookbook into something totally magical! 


I'm pretty lucky that I have space for book shelves in my kitchen but they just aren't enough and my books have now spilled down onto the counters. In fact, there are around 2 years worth of Good Food and Olive magazines plus even more books shoved in the sideboard in the lounge!



So... out of all those books - which are my favourites? It changes all the time but at the moment, these 4 have to be ranked at the top! 
  • Prashad Cookbook: Indian Vegetarian Cooking - as you know, I love a good curry and this book is excellent, every dish I've made from it has been a winner (and you'd never miss the meat!).
  • Cracking Yolks & Pig Tales I've already mentioned this above. Go and buy a copy! 
  • The Kitchen Diaries II - a true classic from Nigel Slater. Like Glynn Purnell's book, this one works on two levels - great recipes but also a brilliant read in its own right! 
  • Two Greedy Italians - I will never grow tired of this book. I absolutely love Italian food and this book has some crackers in it!  

What are your favourite cookbooks? I've had some great suggestions on twitter and facebook for new ones so come on guys - feed my addiction! 
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Japanese Teppanyaki Dining Experience

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Whilst we were away on holiday we went to a Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant. It was actually one of the a la carte options at the hotel and I know what you're thinking - Japanese in Mexico??? Exactly what went through my mind too but actually, we were able to squeeze onto the show table and it was brilliant!

I'm not writing this post as a review because I'm not sure any of my readers are going to jump online and book a flight to Mexico specifically to eat at The Mikado (incase you want to know - its at the Grand Bahia Principe Coba - a fantastic 5* hotel on the Riviera Maya) - BUT what I am saying is 'if you get chance, definitely give this type of dining experience a go' - its great fun!

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Chicken Miso Soup

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Its amazing how quickly the nights are drawing in now and I heard on the radio that we're at the end of the warm weather so salads are not an option - our healthy meals need to be warming and most importantly - filling! Cue the soup..

Chicken Miso Soup with noodles
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